This essay pertains to the topic of the Yellowstone Let Burn Policy

Essay by anonymous09High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2006

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Yellowstone Natural-Burn Policy

Almost everyone remembers the huge forest fire that started in Yellowstone during the summer of 1988. During this fire (which was started do to a very dry summer and dry storms with lightning) approximately 1/3 of our Nations greatest treasure was lost. Why? The Yellowstone park committee had established the "let burn" policy- any fire started naturally inside the park would be permitted to burn, unless human lives or property were threatened. I personally agree with this philosophy of letting the natural fires burn for many reasons. What many people are oblivious to is the fact that forest fires actually help new growth. They fertilize the soil allowing a more diverse collection of plant life to grow.

Forest fires have been occurring naturally for millions of years now and the forest community has learned to adapt to these fires. Also, since these fires are controlled they help prevent future fires.

Also, did you know some plants, such as lodgepole pines, can't reproduce without fire? When they drop their pinecones the seeds inside can't be released until the high temperature of fire breaks them open. Fires also get rid of dead and decaying trees and clear litter out of the park. All forest communities follow a process called "succession" and re-develop after some disturbance. In the end, I think we need to trust the officials, they know a lot more about what is better for Yellowstone than we do.